Style & Substance – Put Some Spring in Your Step – An Unsolicited Endorsement of Color Feat. Sperry Top-Sider

March 20 designated the official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Nevertheless, here in the great state of Michigan, our expectations are never high because we understand the mercurial temperament of our weather. And on cue, after enjoying temperatures that fluctuated between 60 and 70, we were awakened to the sight of fresh snow that had adhered to various surfaces. It was nothing new. Yet, the sheer audacity of snow in April was eye-roll worthy. Despite the temporary visitation – it had all melted by late afternoon – the calendar definitely indicates the season is spring, so the time for a gentleman to prepare his warm weather attire is now.

Earlier this month, I was contacted by a representative from Sperry. Their spring collection was rolling out, and I was offered the opportunity to feature one of their shoe selections. Now, with spring in the back of my mind, I wanted to feature a shoe that had spring written all over it. Enter the Bahama II Sneaker. Bright. Bold. Playful. Plaid. I readily admit that this casual shoe may be a bit too much for the average gentleman. There is a lot to consume here. However, I am humbly requesting that you hear me out on this one. Gentlemen – you need a little color in your life. Trust, there is a time when our clothes can confidently compliment dark and dreary. Now is not the time. And now I’m going to tell you why.

Now, regarding the affairs of gentlemanly attire, the utilization of color remains quite the polarizing issue. The mere suggestion of incorporating hints of vibrant color into one’s wardrobe provokes passionate, hostile defiance. We’re not debating politics here gentlemen – calm the nerves. An intelligent deployment of lively hues demonstrate that a gentleman has granted some much-deserved thought beyond the requisite triad of black, navy, and brown. And we’re not requesting that you dress from head to toe in eye-popping pink, yellow, and orange. Not at all. Rather, a smart placement of color can raise the mundane into a realm of thoughtful, energetic style. Don’t you deserve a little lively style in your life? Keep on reading.

For example, a gentleman can coordinate these plaid sneakers with a relaxed, neutral shade of color for his trousers and shirt. Cream trousers with a light blue polo top can nimbly play off the blue in the sneakers while keeping the shoes the highlight of the ensemble. And quite honestly, with the plaid design, a gentleman can select any of the colors woven into its fabric. I don’t know who needs to hear this: It’s okay to assemble an outfit that does not look like you blindly grabbed something from the laundry basket. No one is asking you to dress like a bag of Skittles Sunday through Saturday. The only ask here is that you don’t fight this recommendation so vehemently. It’s not an attack on your manhood. Trust me. It has been argued that bright, warm colors can actually have an uplifting effect on mood and emotion. So why not give it a fair chance?

Sperry is that quintessential brand that offers a myriad of colorful kicks that embrace the renewal and rejuvenation that embodies spring. A gentleman really cannot go wrong with a pair of Sperry Top-siders during the spring and summer seasons. Here, the Bahama II Sneaker offers a salt-washed breathable, canvas upper with hand-sewn moccasin construction. This shoe is built for backyard cookouts, friend & family gatherings at the park, or simple leisurely stroll through your neighbor on a sunny day. Step into spring with the right splash of color with Sperry. They have a little something for everyone. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Gentlemen’s Review – Sperry – Authentic Original Lug Chukka

Many, many years ago during the maturation of my personal style, Sperry became my preferred shoe brand for warm weather, as boat shoes became progressively heavy in my shoe rotation. Stylish, very comfortable, and available in a myriad of playful hues; Sperry offered great diversity that complemented my wardrobe. To be honest, I never thought about wearing Sperry shoes beyond the summer months. And I never imagined any other Sperry selection beyond my boat shoes. So when presented with an opportunity to choose a pair from Sperry’s collection for review, I decided to select a boot. Given the cold weather on the horizon, it was the perfect time to test some Sperry boots here in Michigan.

The pair I selected is but one of many choices from a special curated, must-have collection of Sperry favorites from none other than John Legend. The awarding winning (Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, Tony), multi-platinum artist, and now 2020 Sperry Global Ambassador John Legend – yes him. It is very ironic that I selected a pair of Sperry boots from his collection of curated favorites. Perhaps we share the same refined taste in style. Okay – I’m wildly speculating here. Nevertheless, the Sperry Lug Chukka was soon express shipped to me for examination and opinion. First impressions right out the box: These boots appeared more than ready to handle the increasingly chilly terrain of Michigan. So, without further delay, lets dive into the intimate details of the Sperry Lug Chukka.

Specifications

  • Waterproof leather uppers
  • Handsewn moccasin construction with a fully impermeable protective layer for dryness in any condition
  • EVA cushioning
  • Non-marking rubber lug outsole with molded Wave-Siping™ provides no-slip traction

Sperry boasts a proprietary line of shoe technology branded Techwave. Touted as a fleet of technology for your feet, it encompasses the following components: Plushwave, Rainwave, Stormwave, and Icewave. The Original Lug Chukka is equipped with Stormwave – meaning it promises a no-slip grip, thermal lining, and waterproofing. The lug chukka itself conveys an old-school, tough aesthetic that aims squarely for rugged good looks. The chukka sports 6 traditional punched eyelets with metal grommets (Sperry engraved on each) for added reinforcement. There are two metal hook eyelets at the very top for secure fastening. Four metal eyelets are also horizontally positioned on each side with the signature squared Sperry shoelaces threaded through each hole.

Now, I would not describe the boot as lightweight, but it definitely isn’t heavy as well. The hard rubber sole is relatively thick with a moderate tread that should stomp through snow and handle slippery terrain fairly well. Stitched inside the leather upper is a warm, flannel-like material that covers all of the inside. Warning: Thick socks may make for a tight fit, so a gentleman may want to choose the appropriate hosiery wisely. The layered, protective cloth covering (in a red/black check pattern) is stitched on top of the insole to shield against moisture and water. Regarding exterior waterproofing, the outer seams and stitching appeared clean and tight. The Original Lug Chukka is a relatively comfortable boot with handsewn moccasin construction. However, I must reiterate, a thick sock may make the boot unpleasantly constrictive. The waterproof leather upper is sufficiently supple and soft. The amaretto color (a burgundy-brown hue) responds well to a good polish.

Pro

  • Robust design with thick rubber sole that should handle snow and slush sufficiently
  • Supple and soft leather that readily absorbs quality polish
  • Handsome design constructed for rugged outdoor commutes
  • Comfortable fit and feel that does not require breaking in; springy, removable insert for added comfort

Con

  • The flannel-like cloth lining inside the boot may cause a tighter than expected fit if worn with thick socks
  • Squared shoe laces sometimes have the habit of frequently becoming untied
  • Strictly constructed for casual environments, this chukka cannot perform double duty and migrate into the boardroom

The Sperry Original Lug Chukka is designed for the gentleman that favors a rugged, outdoorsy aesthetic. To be sure, this boot certainly has a casual feel and is not built for purposes of a boardroom. This chukka should be paired with denim jeans, khaki pants, and corduroy slacks. The lug chukka is competitively priced at $149.95 along with other boots within the same market. The Gentlemen’s Standard considers this a great investment for a quality, everyday boot when faced with cold temperatures and moderate snow.

For more information, please visit SPERRY for details. For specific ordering details about the Original Lug Chukka, please visit HERE.

%d bloggers like this: